Objectives: To determine the utility of total lymphocyte count (TLC) in predicting the 12-month mortality in HIV-infected Ugandan children and to correlate TLC and CD4 cell %. Design: This is a retrospective data analysis of clinical and laboratory data collected prospectively on 128 HIV-infected children in the HIV Network for Prevention Trials 012 trial. Methods: TLC and CD4 cell % measurements were obtained at birth, 14 weeks, and 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months of age and assessed with respect to risk of death within 12 months. Results: Median TLC per microliter (CD4 cell %) was 4150 (41%) at birth, 4900 (24%) at 12 months, 4300 (19%) at 24 months, 4150 (19%) at 36 months, 4100 (18%) at 48 months, and 3800 (20%) at 60 months. The highest risk of mortality within 12 months was 34% - 37% at birth and declined to 13%-15% at 24 months regardless of TLC measurement. The correlation between CD4 cell % and TLC was extremely low overall (r = 0.01). Conclusions: The TLC did not predict a risk of progression to death within 12 months in HIV-infected Ugandan children. Therefore, TLC alone may not be a useful surrogate marker for determining those children at highest risk of death, who require antiretroviral therapy most urgently.
- Total lymphocyte count